As I resume my daily blog, I will be making a change in the daily readings I use. Up to this point, I have used an ecumenical set of readings that included two daily psalms, a passage from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), a Gospel reading, and a reading from the epistle. The set of readings seemed appropriate since I served an ecumenical church. Now that I have moved to a local church affiliated solely with the United Church of Christ, I will use a set of readings put out by the UCC that has three daily readings instead of five.
One other thing for those of you who might just be starting to read my daily blog. While some bloggers make a practice of responding to postings by their readers; given the demands of my day, I generally don’t respond. I view my posting as a way of opening you up to conversation with others about the issues raised in my blog. It’s a subversive way to encourage you to talk openly with others in your life about your faith :)
Today’s Readings: Proverbs 11:1-31; Hebrews 12:3-13; Psalm 73:1-20
In the past eight days I have said goodbye to one faith community; driven over 1,000 miles with my partner and our two dogs; unpacked more boxes than I can count; and found time to sit back and reflect on my first seven years of ministry. During this period of reflection, I’ve had a chance to think about things I consider essential to the healthy practice of ministry. And wouldn’t you know it – today’s Proverbs identified what I feel is the single most important quality in the healthy practice of ministry. That quality has to do with controlling one’s mouth. “The loose tongue of the godless spreads destruction,” the writer of the proverb notes, while “the common sense of the godly preserves them” (Proverbs 11:9 from The Message). A few verses later, the writer adds: “”When right-living people bless the city, it flourishes; evil talk turns it into a ghost town in no time” (Proverbs 11:11 from The Message). Still later: “Mean-spirited slander is heartless; quiet discretion accompanies good sense” (Proverbs 11:12 from The Message). And in case you failed to pick up the point, the author interjects: “A gadabout gossip can’t be trusted with a secret, but someone of integrity won’t violate a confidence” (Proverbs 11:13 from The Message). While there are sexier qualities that others might identify as being foundational for the health of a ministry, I can’t think of one that is more crucial. My question for your consideration today is this: how do you approach the information you acquire during the course of your day? Do you see it as something that can be used to further your own agenda via means such as gossip, or do you see the information as something of sacred worth with which you have been entrusted? Til next time…